“Build a life you don’t need a vacation from.” That phrase haunts me from its whimsical background as I scroll through FaceBook. Sometimes it is plastered over a beach chair, sometimes it is in fake cursive over a mountain top. The meme sparkles in its simplicity, and I hate it.
I am a business person. I am a farmer. I am a woman with a Great Pyrenees that acts as a reverse Swiffer sweeper and deposits piles of dust throughout my house. Many times I am exhausted. I am brain dead; mentally checked out from a life of constant worry over water levels and pasture rotation, and do we have groceries for tonight, or laundry done for tomorrow? Did I get all the invoicing caught up this afternoon, what should I write in a blog for work’s website?
I think it is the story of the modern farmer to live and breathe a never ending checklist of important tasks in rotation. Most of us have to work a 8-5 job in addition to the farm to make ends meet. I would say that is doubly so as a woman farmer, but that could just be my perspective because Captain America could care less about the dirt on the floor and whether or not the counters are clean at nine o’clock when we roll in from feeding everyone after working our 8-5 jobs and start our dinner. I still care and will numbly fold laundry while the oven preheats or I’ll wash a couple dishes while the Keurig whirs. Given all this, you might think then that I crave vacations as a break from the constant stress, but I don’t.
I crave them for novelty.
I become root bound in my little pot of processes that I do day in and day out. I curl in on myself in a constant stream of chores that I try to perform more and more efficiently every day, until exhaustion and compassion fatigue obscure why I chose this life in the first place. I need to be uprooted. I need to be taken out of my tight little space and have myself gently stretched out into the wide world so that when I get planted again I have room to grow, room to appreciate everything again.
|Image by Keith Williamson. Click here to learn more.|
I went to the beach with girl friends for a few days, and while I was SUPER stressed about leaving everything I am SO glad that I did. I came back and I am rejuvenated.
Fence down? Eh, no problem. Have you seen how gorgeous the sky is today? Wow, just talk about blue.
Can’t find a new calf? Aren’t they great hiders? Man, it is so nice to wander around the woods looking in all these little hidey holes. This is such a cool tree! Hey, are those blackberries?
New calf was actually out in the yard? Aw! Isn’t he adorable? Breaking through fences already and he isn’t even 24 hours old! You’re a precocious little buddy, aren’t ya?
Folks, even hammering in fence posts becomes an enjoyable act when I have been away from it for a while. CA and I spent Sunday afternoon starting in on the fences for the rotational grazing program that we are implementing and I was humming, laughing, and turning it into a rousing game of “how many thumps of the t-post driver does it take” that I didn’t mind consistently losing. I loved every exhausting minute of it.
God, it is good to be home!
Oh, and we did manage to get the new baby back in the fence with minimal bruising. (On CA's part, not the calf's.)